Measuring Training Impact with Hard Data

ID-10095096Previously we discussed the perception model of training, which is the model most organizations rely on. Perception models measure just that—perception. These models often use surveys to evaluate a course or education session. These surveys tell you what students think and feel about training.

Don’t Rely On Opinions to Measure Training Impact

Instead of relying on opinions produced by perception models, training results can be measured using an impact model. These models evaluate training by measuring actual impact on the organization. ROI by Design is an impact model.

The impact model of measurement does not rely on student perception. Impact models measure knowledge and skill gain directly by testing for it. The ROI by Design impact model measures before the training, immediately after the training, and several months after the training. In addition, it measures the intended organizational impact (the key performance metric [KPM]) before and after the training to confirm that a behavior change actually changed the KPM.

To measure training impact, you have to first consider what the actual impact of training should be. The goal of training centers on creating a behavior change. Training in organizations supports the development of competencies and improves behavior that moves an organization forward. This means training impact can be measured by the actual behavior change that is addressed by the training program.

To design an effective training program, you first must know what behavior change is needed. Then you have to determine what KPM will indicate that behavior change. If training does not address a specific and obvious gap in knowledge or skill, there is no clear way to determine if the goal is achieved. A training course that does not contribute to either knowledge or skill gain may be interesting to the learner, but will not create a behavior change or have a clear impact on the organization.

Impact Models Define Training Benefit Exactly

Impact models pinpoint exactly what was gained from a training program. Those results can be provided to all stakeholders as evidence of the real value of the training program. Unlike perception models, impact models provide empirical evidence of knowledge and skill gains, and direct evidence of how behavior changes derived from training benefited the organization.

So what do you think? Do you think an impact model to evaluate training would be helpful? Would you like to use hard data to prove the value of training to your company? Tell us in the comments. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Want to know more about the impact model? Contact eParamus.
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